Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Road to the Next Duty is the Only Straight One

I just started a new read aloud with the kids.  It's a George MacDonald book that I've wanted for a while and my sister recently sent me a copy.  "The Princess and Curdie" happens to be the sequel to the well-known story "The Princess and the Goblin," which we have read multiple times.  We read the well-written, though brief, first chapter right away and I loved some of the lines at the end of it: 

"The king had been so pleased with the boy - then approaching thirteen years of age - that when he carried away his daughter he asked him to accompany them; but he was still better pleased with him when he found that he preferred staying with his father and mother.  He was a right good king and knew that the love of a boy who would not leave his father and mother to be made a great man was worth ten thousand offers to die for his sake, and would prove so when the right time came.  
As for his father and mother, they would have given him up without a grumble, for they were just as good as the king, and he and they understood each other perfectly; but in this matter, not seeing that he could do anything for the king which one of his numerous attendants could not do as well, Curdie felt that it was for him to decide...
...Peter and his wife, however, were troubled with the fancy that they had stood in the way of their boy's good fortune.  It would have been such a fine thing for him and them, too, they thought, if he had ridden with the good king's train...
...The good, kind people did not reflect that the road to the next duty is the only straight one, or that, for their fancied good, we should never wish our children or friends to do what we would not do ourselves if we were in their position.  We must accept righteous sacrifices as well as make them."